By Ruzanna Khachatrian
The Armenian Communist Party (HKK) announced Wednesday that it has made a final decision not to join a recently formed alliance of several left-wing opposition parties.
In a dramatic policy U-turn, the Communist leaders said their party will not be part of the Socialist Armenia alliance because some provisions of its founding manifesto contradict the HKK’s ideological tenets. They said they strongly object to the use of the term “democratic socialism” in the document adopted earlier this month.
“Socialism can not fail to be democratic,” the HKK first secretary, Vladimir Darpinian, told reporters at his party’s headquarters.
Darpinian and other Communist leaders were among the politicians who announced Socialist Armenia’s creation on December 26. Their decision to stay away from the bloc is likely to diminish its chances of mounting a serious challenge against President Robert Kocharian.
Socialist Armenia is composed of six small parties that are not represented in the parliament. One of them is led by Ashot Manucharian, a radical leftist politician and an outspoken critic of Kocharian’s “pro-Western” policies. Manucharian was a senior member of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) when it swept the Communists from power in 1990.
Some observers speculate that Manucharian’s presence in the bloc was the main reason for the HKK’s unexpected pullout.